Unfortunately, there is industry standard for SEO packages and prices; there are as many plans as there are providers, and each one gets to decide exactly what to include in their packages and how much to charge for them. As such, consumers bear the greater burden in determining what a fair price to pay for SEO services is, which can be very difficult for the average business owner or manager that has little understanding about what SEO entails.
The following is a list of 5 things that will help you settle on and do business with your SEO consultant/agency in future. Read them, learn them and live them.
- Educate yourself
There is no excuse for ignorance when it comes to pertinent business management aspects. Just like you learn how to manage your employees without a degree in human resource management, you can learn the basics of SEO in order to make better-informed decisions about what your business needs.
There are many blogs that have watered down the technicalities of SEO and online marketing for laypeople, even to the point of teaching you to do your own SEO. If you have no time, subscribe to one of these blogs and get relevant content updates weekly. You can read these on your phone during a commute, or dedicate an hour or two weekly to catch up on what’s happening. Knowing this will help you negotiate for better SEO packages that suit your specific needs.
- Change your conversation
The ideal SEO consultant will try to educate you about why an investment in SEO, content development, blogging, reputation management etc. is important. As an ideal client, you should be just as focused on how an SEO gets you to your goals as you are to the goal itself. Be wary of SEOs who are talking about comment spamming, article marketing or dashing out #1 ranking guarantees – those are not staying up-to-date on developments in the field. A current SEO consultant will discuss strategy, and offer long-term deliverables according to your business objectives.
- Ask for detailed work plans
Even if you know what the SEO packages carry, ask the provider to give a detailed plan of what they will do for you every month. This will help you to plan in advance to have what they need so that work doesn’t stall in the interim. In addition, a plan will help you to control your expectations and assure you that you’re getting the value for which you’re paying. The provider should also have some deliverables you can expect from them at the end of each stage, even without guarantees.
- Buy into social media and content marketing
Today, you must invest in improving your social signals and having great content to rank highly in organic search. Your marketing/SEO budget now MUST make provisions for these strategies. The yellow pages and directory listings are becoming obsolete, giving way to content creation and promotion. Do not remain stuck in reverse; listen to what your provider is saying and then research to find out if their recommendations actually make sense for your business. SEO is constantly evolving, meaning that your strategies will also change with time.
- Select your metrics carefully
Not every business will benefit from targeting increased sales and page 1 rankings, although most businesses would. Take time to sit with your SEO packages provider and decide which metrics make the most sense given your unique business objectives. For an e-commerce site for instance, getting traffic to your site is very important, and it can be achieved in different ways.
Settling on the measurable metrics at the start of your relationship will reduce chances of disagreeing a little ways down the road.